Sleep apnea can be a disruptive, annoying, and even dangerous conditions, but there are effective home remedies for sleep apnea, including regular exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking, sleeping on your side, taking up singing, lavender, magnesium, and regulating your sleep schedule, among others.
Affecting tens of millions of people around the world, sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, but is also difficult to diagnose, as many people don’t even realize they are suffering from the conditions. Put plainly, sleep apnea is a disturbance in the respiratory effort of the body while sleeping. A pause in breathing causes a lack of oxygen flow into the body, and a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body. This stimulates the body to wake itself up, or intake oxygen rapidly to compensate. There are three types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive, and complex (a combination of the first two). In central sleep apnea, all respiratory effort by the body stops, and often results in restless sleep and frequent waking episodes, thus resulting in fatigue and other characteristics of poor sleep patterns. Obstructive sleep apnea is a physical obstruction of the airway, so inhalation occurs through another route, namely through the nose, causing snoring. Complex apnea is when both of these types of apnea occur in a single night.
Sleep apnea can have long-term effects of chronic fatigue, and if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, the constant snoring can be very difficult to sleep through if you have a partner. Fortunately, that is how most sleep apnea is initially diagnosed, by someone else noticing your sleep behaviors and auditory emissions. Sleep apnea treatments include everything from nasal strips to open airways, all the way up to complex machines that must be work during sleep to ensure proper breathing. There are also a number of natural and home remedies that many people seek, due to the expense and inconvenience of more formal treatments. Now, let’s take a more comprehensive look at some of these home remedies for sleep apnea.
Quit Smoking: One of the major causes of sleep apnea, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, is smoking. This causes constriction and weakness within the airway, as well as inflammation, which can block breathing efforts when we sleep. If you want to stop snoring, eliminating cigarettes from your life is a wise choice, particularly because of all the other health issues that it can cause. Smokers are found to have sleep apnea three times as often as non-smokers!
Sleep on Your Side: When you sleep on your back, it is much more difficult for your respiratory system to compensate for sleep apnea symptoms, like airway blockage. The tongue and soft tissue of the throat will naturally fall to the back of the mouth when you’re sleeping on your back, thus blocking the airway and causing snoring. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees can help keep you on your side while you sleep.
Lose Weight: Obesity is closely linked to sleep apnea, as the body is basically overloaded with extra tissue. This exists in the throat and neck as well, and this extra fat can block the airway, thus causing snoring and the interruption of respiratory activity. Losing weight can also help boost your health in other ways, but it is particularly effective for preventing all types of apnea.
Exercise Regularly: It is believed that aerobic exercise in many forms can strengthen the respiratory system and prevent sleep apnea. Exercise also saps our energy and promotes healthy, deep sleep to repair and recover. Exercise has a wealth of positive effects on the body, and boosting the duration and quality of your sleep are two of them!
Practice Singing: This may seem a bit unexpected, but strengthening the soft tissues of the throat and soft palate. By boosting the muscle control in these areas, through activities like singing, there is a lower chance of loose or lax muscles allowing the airway to be blocked. If you aren’t a singer, or have no interest in that option, there are also a number of instruments that can promote a stronger soft palate, including the use of a didgeridoo to improve breath control and respiratory system strength.
Add Magnesium: Sleep apnea primarily affects the muscles of the upper throat region, you should ensure that your muscle regulation is optimal if you’re suffering from sleep apnea. Magnesium is an essential mineral that directly affects the muscles throughout our body, so proper levels of magnesium are recommended. You can take magnesium in the form of a supplement, or in high-magnesium foods, such as leafy greens, bananas, beans, avocados and various seeds.
Lavender: One of the most commonly used sedative and soothing herbs is lavender. As a traditional remedy for sleep apnea, it can reduce inflammation in the throat and the muscles that affect sleep apnea. It can also induce deep, restful sleep to prevent the common symptoms of fatigue that sufferers of sleep apnea commonly experience.
Regulate Sleep Schedule: The most important lifestyle remedy for sleep apnea is ensuring that you generally sleep at the same time each day. By having irregularities in your sleep schedule, your body cannot establish set cycles. This causes you to sleep “lighter”, making you more prone to the muscle irregularities and respiratory issues of sleep apnea. Try to get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and set a certain schedule for yourself, give or take 30-45 minutes, particularly on nights before you need to wake up for work.
Practice Yoga: A number of yoga exercises have been associated with reducing inflammation and opening up the airways. Yoga breathing techniques are very effective for reducing sleep apnea symptoms, and you can speak with a yoga instructor for take-home exercises as well.
A Final Word of Warning: Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea, and while most of the cases pose no immediate threat to your health and safety, sleep apnea can be a marker for more serious health conditions, and in very rare cases, can even be fatal. If you discover that you suffer from sleep apnea, speak to a doctor about possible treatments. These home remedies are effective, but can also work as complementary treatments to more formal strategies to eliminate sleep apnea.
Keeping a good resting heart rate is extremely important for long-term health, and there are many ways to maintain a healthy resting heart rate, including intense cardio exercises, getting healthy sleep, indulging in massages, adding fish oil to your diet, urinating regularly, quitting smoking, lowering stress, and many more!
Healthy Resting Heart Rate
When we exercise or exert ourselves, our heart rate rises. The same thing happens when we are in stressful situations, when we get excited, or when we see that special someone. While elevated heart rates are normal in some circumstances, it is important that our resting heart rate remain at a manageable rate. High resting heart rates are good indicators and predictors of heart disease and a variety of other health issues, so keeping your resting heart rate low is very important.
For those who don’t know, your heart rate is measured in beats per minute, and a resting heart rate is your pulse when your body is completely at rest. Imagine sitting in your office, working on something rather peaceful, stress-free, and yet your heart is beating furiously. That is unnecessary strain that can wear down your heart, and also lets you know that something may be seriously wrong with your cardiovascular system.
Fortunately, the importance of a low, balanced resting heart rate is well known, and a significant amount of research has been done on the subject. It is widely understood that resting heart rate tends to elevate as we get older, although genetics and lifestyle also play a major role too.
There are certain medications that can lower your resting heart rate, but that sort of artificial and pharmaceutical manipulation of your system is not recommended, especially because there are many lifestyle and fitness strategies that can help lower your resting heart rate rather easily. Now, let’s take a closer look at 10 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Resting Heart Rate.
10 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Resting Heart Rate
1. Add Fish Oil to Your Diet:
Fish oil, which is rich inomega-3 fatty acids and well known to be beneficial for heart health, can also help you regulate your resting heart rate and keep it nice and low. In fact, fish oil can help the vagus nerve in your heart function more efficiently, keeping resting heart rate lower for longer. Numerous studies have now shown a direct decrease in resting heart rate following a relatively short stint of regular fish oil capsule consumption. You can also add some extra salmon and tuna to your weekly diet.
2. Intense Cardio Workouts:
Perhaps the most important aspect of your lifestyle that can lower resting heart rate is regular and intense cardiovascular workouts. By pumping up your heart rate during these exercises, you actually strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system, making it more reactive to your activity and behavior. Therefore, once your exercising is finished, your parasympathetic nervous system is better at recognizing a “resting” state, and helps to keep your resting heart rate lower, as though in preparation for your next exertion. 3-4 workouts per week of 30-40 minutes should be enough to significantly drop your resting heart rate to healthy levels.
3. Go to the Bathroom Regularly:
This might seem a bit unusual, but in fact, regular urination and avoiding “holding it in” can lower your resting heart rate. When your bladder is full, it can increase your normal heart rate by as much as 10 bpm. It turns out that when you need to urinate, your sympathetic system activates, constricting blood vessels and driving up blood pressure.
4. Quit Smoking:
There are many reasons to quit smoking, but its effects on resting heart rate are particularly important to note. Nicotine is an astringent substance; the “nicotine rush” is a burst of blood pressure as our vessels constrict, driving up heart rate. If you want a lower resting heart rate, stop constricting your blood vessels and ditch the cigarettes once and for all!
5. Reduce Stress:
This can be easier said than done, but anything you can do to reduce stressful situations in your life will lower inflammation throughout the body, eliminate the chronic presence of stress hormones in your bloodstream, and lower resting heart rate. Meditation, yoga, tai-chi, and a better organized life can all help to eliminate daily stress and keep your heart rate calm.
6.Get a Massage:
Relaxation techniques of any kind are encouraged to reduce resting heart rate, as things like massage or aromatherapy can lower levels of stress hormones in the body. Things like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine function in your fight-or-flight response, which boosts your heart rate to give you the energy to act. By lowering these chemicals in your system, you can drop your resting heart rate by as much as 8 bpm.
7. Sleep Better:
If your sleep is constantly disturbed, either by restlessness or outside stimuli, your heart rate jumps from its sleep state to one of startled consciousness. It can often be hard to get that resting heart rate back down, making it more difficult to get to sleep, causing fatigue and non-restful sleep. It is important that your body gets continuous rest, so do your best to eliminate potential disturbances while you’re getting your shut-eye!
8. Cut Down on Caffeine and Alcohol:
Caffeine naturally raises your heart rate to provide that caffeine burst of energy, and can wreak havoc on your natural cycles of rest and activity. Similarly, alcohol has been directly connected not only with other health issues and inflammation in the body, but also with a higher than average resting heart rate. Ease up on the coffee and cut yourself off after a glass of wine or two – no more!
9. Vary Your Exercise:
Exercise of any kind is important for improving (lowering) your resting heart rate, but there are ways to make exercise even more effective. Namely, if you are able to switch up your exercises, using different muscle groups, and switching from resistance training and weights to cardio, the effects are even stronger. Your parasympathetic nervous system will have to be even more adaptive if you’re exerting yourself in different ways, making it even better at bringing your heart rate back to a low, healthy level.
10. Lose Weight:
Excess weight and obesity can cause a huge amount of stress on your body. The inflammatory effects of adipose tissue alone can cause your resting heart rate to be higher, and excess weight also makes normal activities more difficult, causing a natural strain on the heart, even when you’re not engaged in traditional “physical activity”. Moderating your diet and engaging in a fitness plan can help you lose the weight and keep your resting heart rate low and healthy!
Some of the health benefits of walking include good physical and mental health, protection from heart ailments, diabetes, cancer, and other types of chronic conditions. Further studies show that walking increases bone mineral density and prevents the condition of osteoporosis. It reduces the risk of colon cancer and arthritis.
A walk is a wonderful form of exercise for the body. This workout doesn’t cost you anything and it can fit into everyone’s lifestyle. However busy you may be - a brisk walk around your place of work or at home can prove to be a highly beneficial exercise.
The health benefits of walking include an overall improvement of your health and a reduction in excessive body weight. According to the US Dept of Health, walking has helped to reduce the mortality rate amongst various age groups.
Walking is a mandatory exercise for human beings. The more you walk, the better it is for your well-being. Some of the various health benefits of walking are as follows:
A short brisk-paced walk is all that you need to reduce your excess calories and fats. Walking aids in balancing the excess calories gained through eating. A one-mile walk can burn up almost 100 calories of energy. Therefore, walking at least 3 to 4 km in a day, 3 times a week, can make you slimmer by a whole pound.
Daily walking can keep you fit and healthy for a long time. It aids the normal functioning of cardio-respiratory organs and considerably increases your body’s power. Regular brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can help you stay slim and in robust health. Brisk walking is the ultimate option, but it should not overexert you; you can build up to faster paces as you become used to the consistent exercise.
We all know that walking does wonders for the physical body. What about mental well-being? Walking is also beneficial for your mental attitude as well. It elevates your mood, reduces depression, and lowers stress levels, in addition to improving your confidence and self esteem.
Group walks or with friends helps you maintain good social contacts. A walk through good, lush greenery would definitely lift your spirits and keep you fresh all day long.
All Around Benefits
Medical research and studies indicate that walking lowers high blood pressure and high cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of strokes and other heart-related problems. Walking is best for mental fitness and assists in flexible weight control. Walking is good for increasing bone density and preventing chronic osteoporosis. It also restricts other illnesses and boosts the immunity of the human body.
A good walk makes you sweat and releases toxic waste from the body, making your skin glow with health and vitality and clearing out your system of unhealthy components.
Walking to Stay Fit
Walkers are less prone to falls and bone injuries, as their bones are strong and can sustain injuries. They have a more flexible body and good muscular movements, providing them with better balance and general abilities. Adults who remain physically active and do brisk walking in their early 50s have a reduced risk of heart problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also, women regularly going for walks are less prone to heart diseases and diabetes, as recommended by the British Medical Journal.